Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 19, 2007
POLITICS: Your Papers, Please

Hillary! wants to make it illegal to get a job if you don't have proof of health insurance:

She said she could envision a day when "you have to show proof to your employer that you're insured as a part of the job interview — like when your kid goes to school and has to show proof of vaccination," but said such details would be worked out through negotiations with Congress.

Proof of health insurance, yes. Proof of citizenship, no; that would be unfair and mean-spirited. Also, it's racist to require proof of citizenship and eligibility to vote.

Got that straight?

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:05 AM | Politics 2008 | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

Isn't a companys insurance offering one of the considerations most potential employees weigh in their job search...not the other way around. As usual the junior senator from NY is confused on an issue.

Posted by: maddirishman at September 19, 2007 11:43 AM

I agree with the premise of your post, but isn't an employer required to verify citizenship? I thought that's what the I-9 -- the form everyone fills out and presents with a copy of two forms of ID when they start a new job -- accomplishes.

Posted by: wd at September 19, 2007 12:31 PM

yeah, you're right-- i think edwards has the right idea.

Posted by: Ben M at September 19, 2007 2:44 PM

The I-9 establishes you are eligible to work in the US, not that you are a citizen*. And that is a post-offer/pre-employment exercise, just like a drug test. You are not allowed to ask for paperwork until an offer of employment has been made, not as Sen Clinton implies that offer decisions can be made based on insurance status.

*And because of fear of discrimination lawsuits so long as the documents aren't in crayon they will be accepted, so they really don't prove what you want them to prove. If a green card and social security card can be faked, how tough can it be to fake insurance cards to fool a prospective employer?

Posted by: Joe at September 19, 2007 4:01 PM

Why folks cannot stand Bloomberg : U.S. may escort Iranian president to ground zero-New York Sun
According to the Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the Bloomberg administration is in discussions to escort Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to ground zero during his visit to New York next week. The proposed visit has been condemned by several presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney.
Compare and contrast with Rudy dismissing a certain terrorist from Lincoln Center. Given what we know about Iranian activities, actively killing Americans, this is despicable. But in his typical cosmopolitan condescending fashion the Mayor will dismiss all complaints out of hand.

Posted by: abe at September 19, 2007 4:34 PM

As far as I recall, Edwards's plan does not require people to obtain health insurance; but he did say that he would require everyone to visit the doctor.

Here's the deal: a lot of the uninsured for whom we are supposed to feel sorry and on whose behalf the candidates want to spend our money can afford health insurance, they just think purchasing health insurance is a bad deal given their perceived level of risk and given that they can always get free care at the emergency room. To work, Clinton's plan needs their premium dollars to subsidize health insurance for those who think they cannot afford health insurance.

It seems that under Edwards's plan you'll get health insurance coverage whether or not you buy it. In either case, the state has a fiscal interest in your well-being. Therefore, the state can require you either buy health insurance or visit the doctor, or both.

While I agree with and support the defense Guantanamo detainees and illegal aliens by the ACLU and others, I wish they could show a little bit of concern about how American citizens' rights are violated by tax laws and intrusive social welfare programs.

Posted by: jimbo at September 19, 2007 4:41 PM

Uhh, Crank - I don't believe she ever said that employers should not check citizenship(or as Joe pointed out, the I9 permission to work) while employing someone. Sure, others have, but that is no reason to apply it to her - even if she mistakenly moved up the check from "post offer" to "during interview".
Since the I9 process is quite set in stone, it would require minor changes to have it submitted for government review within 5 days - why hasn't anyone proposed this, since the information is more likely to be available to the Federal government than an individual employer's burden?
It is quite sad that you can only ask something like "Will you be able to provide proof of eligibility?" or "can you do classified work".

And that's also a fine way of misrepresenting the general liberal position on making people offer documentation while voting - since as long as you have to pay the State for your acceptable ID to vote, it's clearly a Poll Tax. Any number of ways around this include a proposition to give people a "free voter id" - which generally are not done.

Posted by: Dave at September 19, 2007 5:06 PM

Dave, the federal government can't tell an employer if a social security number is bad, and keeping those records is part of it's job. In the cases I have experienced of an employee having a bad SS#, it takes the state revenue agency about 2-3 months to realize they don't have a valid number to match with the tax payments. I never received a similar report from the IRS. Since Hillary! claims to be adding no new agencies, who is gonna keep this information at the federal level? And is this a privacy concern, or is it ok to sacrifice the divinity known as 'privacy' on the alter of security when health care is involved?

You can't demand proof of citizenship at any time. Pre-offer, post-offer it doesn't matter. On the I-9, it is the employee's choice what documents to provide and the employer can't demand others. If I want to use my driver's license and social security card, but the employer wants a passport s/he is going to be very sad.

Posted by: Joe at September 20, 2007 10:48 AM

Based on my experience hiring people when I had a real job, Joe is absolutely right about the I-9 form. Crank, your comments at the end of the post are quite good.

Posted by: feeblemind at September 20, 2007 11:21 AM

I have health insurance through my work but I wish they would just give me the money. I have not been to a doctor or taken anything stronger than aspirin in ten years. Health insurance is a scam for people like me. My premiums go to paying insurance company employees along with some of the healthcare for sicker people.

I understand some people are not as fortunate as I am and should have health insurance, but I have always wished my company would just put the money in a private money market account or CD ladder that I could use as needed and take with me when I leave.

Posted by: Sherwood at September 20, 2007 11:26 AM


I am married with three children and I feel the same way. And we go to the doctor's office fairly often. But I would rather pay a fraction of what I do for some type of catastrophic insurance should a serious illness arise, and then pay my family's costs for checkups and shots out of pocket. To borrow an example from George Will, your car insurance doesn't cover your oil changes or rotating your tires.

Posted by: WD at September 20, 2007 12:42 PM

In general, I feel the same way - health insurance is backward because what most people need and in general want is to be insured against catastrophic health care costs.

Posted by: The Crank at September 20, 2007 12:53 PM

I think this is something that warrants discussion. As I said, at least Hillary put something on the table. And the proper response is probably what you said Crank. It's a politically viable answer for Hillary and the others. Say, "We can't afford full health coverage for all Americans, but we can for catastrophic care, which now costs us X, and if we are all covered, we pay Y, but save Z."

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 20, 2007 2:12 PM

Personally, I would rather have health insurance cover more than just catastrophic care. People who can't afford routine doctor's visits and check-ups will not get on proper medication and will simply walk around infecting everyone else.

Plus, if people can't afford routine check-ups and office visits for minor illnesses, they will miss opportunities to catch catastrophic illnesses in their early stages. Depending on the particular illness, early detection may lead to less costly treatments than waiting until it is a serious problem. This would raise -everyone's- premiums for catastrophic illness coverage.

I'm not advocating Hillary's plan - I haven't even seen it. My point is that the auto insurance really isn't analogous to health care.

Posted by: MVH at September 20, 2007 2:48 PM

Sherwood and WD, I've never met an employer that mandates that you pick up their coverage - in fact, this may be illegal. You could could drop out of the program, and then opt to pick up none, or pick up catastrophic insurance. And most employers will also give you some small cash reimbursement as well(all but one of mine has). Nothing is stopping either of you from doing this - right?
Just please, don't have the emergency room/medicaid pick up the tab if your appendix burst, or go bankrupt and force the hospital to raise costs for the rest of us in order to recoup costs.

Joe - be glad you don't run into someone who has a duplicate Social. That's just chaos to get worked out. I believe that both DHS/ICE and the SSA now reviews submitted I-9 forms. It's not that the government can't tell about if the information is valid - it is that it chooses not to. I've never run into a problem using the DHS's Basic Pilot/E-Verify program - state tax agencies are another problem.
While I haven't heard her saying that she wouldn't look for a new agency, my guess is it would full under the purview of SSA - since that allows for verification of "work authorization" of SSN's.

Posted by: Dave at September 20, 2007 11:22 PM

Dave: Good point. No one held a gun to my head to take my company's health insurance. As to your point about going bankrupt or asking medicare to pick up an emergency, that's what the catastrophic insurance would be for. In fact, that's where I would be willing to pay more for better insurance coverage. I would rather pay extra to make sure that if something really serious, happens to me or my family, my only concern would be getting the best doctors, not whether the procedure is covered.
I wasn't saying that I would rather go without and take my chances, although maybe that is what Sherwood was talking about.

Posted by: WD at September 23, 2007 4:20 PM
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